Stress: A Follow Up

First of all I would like to thank those of you who commented on my post entitled Stress the other day.  There were some great words of wisdom there, and Bob Sullivan from EMS Patient Perspective shared some links to some really good articles.

Greg Friese asked what I do to help those around me with stress.  Personally, I feel that as a field supervisor it is my responsibility to have a grasp on the mood of my employees.  That is a daunting task since I have around two hundred paramedics and EMTs, some full time and some part time, working in my service.  I personally need to be able to watch as many of them as I can for mood changes, and when I see them I need to be able to refer them to the places where they can get help.

The resources available to them can be as simple as a walk through the garage and a friendly conversation or it could be a phone call to muster up our regional CISM team.  Additionally, EAP is a great route to refer employees to especially if the root of their issue lies outside of work.

Most of all, the most important thing that any leader can do for their people is make themselves available to their employees whenever they may need to talk.  This needs to be a team approach though.  I know all too well that I am not the first choice for everyone to come and talk to.  Personalities clash, and frankly, not everyone gets along all the time and they cannot be expected to do so.  Thankfully, there are a number of other people on my management team, and for the most part, most EMS services are not a one leader shop.  If someone says, “I dont want to talk to Scotty about this” that is fine.  I don’t need to be their sounding board.  The important thing is that they go to someone about it.

Availability and access.  That is what is most important.  People cannot get help if they do not know where to find it.  My advice to those in the field is to find someone you are comfortable going to when you need to talk about what stresses you out about the job.  For leadership, keep your head up and always be aware of what is going on around you.  We talk about situational awareness in the field, but it is also important in the office.  Know when the big calls happen, know who is on them, and make sure they know that you know.

Most importantly do not be afraid to ask for help.  

One comment

  1. Being available and willing to talk about day to day life (calls, family, etc.) builds a relationship that will make it more willing for an employee to seek you out during a time of stress. Thanks Scott


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